Minutewomen Falter At Ole Miss, 71-59
Dec. 8, 2012
OXFORD, Miss. - Despite a 19-point performance from senior center Jasmine Watson and a strong first half overall, UMass women's basketball fell on the road at Ole Miss, 71-59 in Tad Smith Coliseum on Saturday afternoon. Watson finished 9-for-15 on field goal attempts while freshman guard Rashida Timbilla chipped in 10 points and four rebounds, with each coming on the offensive glass.
Sophomore guard Emily Mital finished with seven points, five boards, four assists and only one turnover in 37 minutes on the floor while sophomore forward Aisha Rodney tallied six points on a 2-for-2 day from the field and a pair of made free throws.
UMass (2-8 overall) scored the opening five points to force an Ole Miss timeout only 1:39 into the contest. Watson keyed in with a bucket and free throw while senior guard Dee Montgomery connected on a driving layup to create the initial lead.
Following the stop, the Minutewomen continued to knock down their shots, racing to a 20-5 advantage while hitting 9-of-14 field goal attempts (64.3 percent). Watson led the charge by hitting four attempts and a free throw for nine points while Mital added five and Timbilla contributed four.
After Valencia McFarland put Ole Miss on the board with a pair of free throws, Mital, Timbilla and Watson combined to make four layups to extend the UMass lead to 15-2. Tia Faleru followed by converting the front end of a pair of free throws; however, Mital added a three-point to push the advantage back to 15 with 14:02 remaining in the half.
Ole Miss (5-2) used a strong showing during a 7:51 stretch in the middle of the first half to drop the UMass lead under double-digits. After McFarland capped a 12-2 run for the Rebels with a layup at the 5:08 mark to pull Ole Miss within five, the Minutewomen produced a short 8-4 run to extend the lead to 30-21 entering the half.
UMass shot 40 percent from the floor (12-for-30) in the first and knocked down 5-of-6 free throws (83.3 percent) while the Minutewomen held Ole Miss to only eight buckets in 31 attempts (25.8 percent), including an 0-for-7 half from behind the arc.
The Rebels took their first lead following a 13-3 run to begin the final stanza. After redshirt-junior Kiara Bomben hit the second of two free throw attempts to keep UMass in front by a pair, 33-31, Diara Moore connected for Ole Miss' first made three-pointer to put the Rebels ahead, 34-33 with 17:23 left.
The Minutewomen and Rebels exchanged buckets until redshirt-sophomore Millie Niggeling knocked down a three-pointer to even the game at 38-38 with 12:21 remaining. The Rebels followed with a 16-6 run to build a lead UMass was unable to erase over the remainder of the game.
UMass brought the deficit down to five, 54-49 at the 4:42 mark after Montgomery knocked down a three-pointer and Watson blocked a Moore shot and hit a layup during the ensuing possession. However, Ole Miss expanded its lead free throws down the stretch to reach the final, 71-59.
Play was stopped with 1:39 remaining in the game after the main arena lighting in Tad Smith Coliseum cut out abruptly. After a delay of approximately 15 minutes, the power was brought back to full capacity and play resumed.
UMass went 22-for-61 from the field (36.1 percent) and 3-for-15 from behind the three-point line (20.0 percent). Ole Miss finished its afternoon with a 39.1 field goal percentage while the Minutewomen defense limited the Rebels to just one made three-pointer in 15 attempts (6.7 percent).
Ole Miss led in points in the paint, 38-36 and scoring off of turnovers, 32-6. UMass earned an advantage in second-chance points, 13-8 while the Rebels finished with positive margins in fast break scoring, 16-4. The Ole Miss bench contributed 40 points while the Minutewomen reserves added 13. Ole Miss was led by 17 points from Faleru while Danielle McCray contributed 16 and Moore added 15.
The Minutewomen return to the Mullins Center for their next contest, hosting Bowling Green at 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 19 during a doubleheader with UMass men's basketball. The Minutemen will face Ohio University at approximately 7:30 p.m. to conclude the daily slate.